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 GTA: Chinatown Wars  Sells 89,000 In First Month
GTA: Chinatown Wars Sells 89,000 In First Month
April 17, 2009 | By Staff

April 17, 2009 | By Staff
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Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS sold through just 89,000 copies in the U.S. in March 2009, far below analyst estimates.

According to NPD numbers revealed to Gamasutra, the DS debut of the GTA franchise significantly underperformed even the lowest analyst estimates for the month.

The game did not appear in the NPD Top 10 for the month, meaning that it sold less than 205,000 units -- ultimately, though, its U.S. debut was less than half that predicted by EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich.

At the time, Divnich believed that sell-through of 200,000 would be disappointing in itself, explaining: "With the majority of publishers currently taking a risk-adverse stance, we expect this to slow the growth rate of future mature rated titles on the DS."

As a comparison point, the EEDAR analyst noted: "Previous GTA titles on the PSP have sold in excess 1 million units lifetime... The performance on the DS highlights clearly the demographic differences between the two platforms in the handheld market."

But with the actual game sales even lower than Divnich expected -- and massively lower than the estimates of Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, who suggested that Chinatown Wars might sell as many as 450,000 units for the five-week month of March -- this may be considered a disappointing result for high-quality M-rated titles for Nintendo's handheld platform.


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Comments


Ian Fisch
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I feel like this could be explained by the wrong game for the format. I don't mean because of it's mature content - though I don't have the knowledge to refute that.



As a hardcore mature gamer, I just didn't have much interest in the title. If I want to play GTA, I play it on a console - or at the very least a system capable of showing a good section of the road in front of me.



I understand that the DS user base is filled with a lot of casual Brain-training type gamers, but there's more than enough hardcore DS owners to make a mature game a hit. I think these type of gamers aren't interested in paying for a compromised version of a series they've already spent many many hours on - especially when there are many great DS games that you can't find a better version of on any platform.

Alan Rimkeit
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I know people have argued against the idea, but I really do think that R* should make a PSP version of this game. The idea of "China Town Wars" sounds like real fun. I also loved the 2D top down GTA games and I would buy one for my PSP in a heart beat. That is just my 2 cents.

Kevin Jones
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From the article :"this may be considered a disappointing result for high-quality M-rated titles for Nintendo's handheld platform"



There is no "may be considered" about it.

It's a massive bomb!

This is a game that receivedd the highest ratings even on the DS. The DS has the largest install base by far of current gen gaming devices, and the GTA franchise is one of the biggest in gaming..and the game sells less than 90,000 in it's first month?

It's a major disaster.

It's now virtually certain that Rockstar won't be releasing GTA on the Wii(which has similar demographics to the DS) any time soon.

Roberto Alfonso
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Did the game have the massive ads support titles like Brain Age and Layton have had? The game isn't the problem, it is the demographics. You cannot reach them just by announcing in IGN and GameSpot, you need to use TV and mass market magazines.

Joseph Garrahan
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Is VGChartz completely wrong? it says +300K worldwide...88K this week, in the USA



http://www.vgchartz.com/games/game.php?id=24661

Simon Carless
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VGChartz is estimating as much as the analysts (probably more) and will surreptitiously adjust their figures down sometime soon, Joseph.

Alan Rimkeit
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"Roberto Alfonso - Did the game have the massive ads support titles like Brain Age and Layton have had? The game isn't the problem, it is the demographics. You cannot reach them just by announcing in IGN and GameSpot, you need to use TV and mass market magazines. "



I watch a fair amount of TV. I saw quite a few commercials on TV advertising the game on a few different channels. They were pretty catchy commercials too. I think the DS is just over run by people who may never play a GTA game.


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